“Driving enjoyment, not practicality, is of paramount importance to many coupe buyers, and this segment is home to some of the sportiest choices on the market,” Edmunds.com said in the introduction of its list of the most fuel-efficient coupes for 2013. While that certainly may be true, there are some who use coupes as their daily drivers, and therefore may not want to deal with the pump-induced headaches that the more seriously performance-oriented coupes can cause.
“The picks that follow are the most fuel-efficient coupes for 2013,” Edmunds continues. “Our list includes a microcar, two-door versions of popular family sedans, a couple of affordable sports cars and a handful of more glamorous luxury models.”
As far as the rules? “We used the EPA’s combined fuel economy formula: 55 percent of city miles per gallon rating plus 45 percent of highway miles per gallon rating.”
Notably, each car is chosen with the “most frugal” powertrain available.
10. Audi TT/TTS
The Audi (VLKAY.PK) TT — and its sportier TTS-badged sibling — both boast 26 miles per gallon combined, with 22 in the city and an admirable 31 on the highway. The TT offers a sleek, compact body that’s fun to drive and comfortable, but is not an ostentatious flaunting of one’s checkbook.
9. Audi A5
Larger than the TT but boasting practically the same fuel economy — 22 in the city, 32 on the highway, 26 combined — the Audi A5 is more of a GT-style two-door, with a roomier cabin and larger presence on the road. However, the added bulk doesn’t come as detriment to its styling, as the A5 offers an aggressive, forward-leaning stance and smooth lines throughout that give the car its graceful appearance.
8. Nissan Altima Coupe
The Nissan (NSANY.PK) shares nearly identical statistics, fuel-wise, as the players from Germany, with a rating of 26 miles per gallon combined — 23 in the city, 32 on the highway. Though its performance falls somewhat short,the Altima coupe is a more affordable, entry-level alternative to Nissan’s higher-performance 370Z — with better mileage, of course.
7. BMW 6 Series
The side profile of the BMW 6 Series says it all: low, sleek, and geared for speed. But fuel efficiency? Actually, yes — in the entry-level trim, the 640i, with a 3-liter inline-six — the BMW can manage 23 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the highway, largely thanks to the car’s streamlined profile. It’ll also start at a very BMW price of nearly $75,000.
6. Scion FRS/Subaru BRZ
A joint venture between Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Subaru has produced the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ (pictured). Both cars — extremely similar in many regards — share the 2-liter, Subaru-derived boxer-four engine, which will return 28 miles per gallon combined — 25 city, 34 on the open roads — and all its power is diverted to the rear wheels. If you’re looking for some budget-friendly fun, these cars should be near the top of the list.
5. Kia Forte Koup
With 29 miles per gallon combined, the Kia Forte Koup offers Kia’s popular Forte sedan but in a far sportier format. Though its 156 or so horsepower won’t be breaking records, the Kia boasts a curb weight of just 2,737 pounds, so that power is put to good use. The Kia is a quality, sensible car for those who don’t necessarily need the two additional doors.
4. Honda Accord Coupe
Like the Kia and the Nissan, the Honda (NYSE:HMC) Accord is a coupe version of Honda’s hot-selling Accord sedan. Essentially, Honda put the drivetrain and accoutrements from the sedan into the sleek, flowing body of the coupe. The result is a sporty, more aggressive car that is a far cry from the more sleepy Accord sedan — and it still manages 29 miles per gallon combined, with 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 on the highway.
3. Hyundai Elantra Coupe
New for 2013, Hyundai shaved two doors off of its Elantra sedan. The result, like most other sedan-coupe conversions, is a sleeker, more sport-oriented car. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder is good for an adequate 148 horsepower, and though it won’t be first and foremost for performance enthusiasts, the Elantra will offer an impressive 28 miles in the city and a more impressive 38 on the highway.
2. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic essentially matches the Hyundai for efficiency — although it gets 39 miles on the open road over the Elantra’s 38 — and in other ways, the two cars are quite comparable, at least from a styling perspective: They are both two-door versions of the more standard four-door sedans. However, the Honda offers the sportier Si trim, which promises a lot more fun.
1. Smart ForTwo
Is it fast? No, it’s really not. Sexy? Not especially, though we’re certain it has its own base of fans. Practical? Not so much. Fuel efficient? Absolutely — the Smart ForTwo has to have something going for it (in addition to its minuscule footprint — great for parking). If you’re looking for a fuel-sipping, two-door car, look no further than the 36 mile-per-gallon Smart ForTwo, which musters 34 on the city and another 38 for highway driving.